Change Is Coming to AAR

balloonsYou heard it here first, folks:  AAR is about to undergo a facelift.

Okay, more of a full facelift for the home page and discrete shots of botox and restalyne for the rest of the site.

Confusing, yes?  You won’t be on Monday, June 21st when our new design debuts.

We’ve worked hard with some super talented people to put together a new home page that better reflects the way people use the Web today. It’s clean and uncluttered and modern and we think it’s a winner.  As for the rest of the site, the basic layout will remain the same (coding issues – don’t ask), but there will be a new masthead and background throughout the site.  Yes, folks, it’s true.  The hammock is saying buh-bye.

What will this mean to readers?  An easier, more accessible, and more intuitive user experience.   AAR is going to work the way other Web sites work, with fewer quirks and idiosyncrasies.  And a big improvement right from the start?  You won’t have to manually refresh the home page anymore to check for updates.

Another change?  We’re increasing the size of our vertical ads – the ones that appear on pages other than the message boards.  Our ads are now more in line with others you see on the Web.  The upside for authors and publishers?  More bang for your advertising buck and more room to get creative with your designs.

I will offer one tip:  We know many readers have bookmarked a page on the site – New Reviews or the Message Board, for example – and typically enter the site by one of those back doors.  If you’re one of them, we hope you’ll considering switching your point of entry to our revamped home page.  The home page is going to be…well, useful and the best way to know exactly what’s new on the site.

And, even though I said just one tip, here’s another bonus.  We’ve pulled out all the stops and have a very generous prize package from Avon books to help us celebrate our launch day.  And, believe me, you won’t want to miss it.  Seriously.

So, June 21st is the day.  We’re excited and hope you all will be, too.

– Sandy AAR

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17 Responses to “Change Is Coming to AAR”

  1. Tee says:

    I am excited. I love change, especially when it comes to websites. Sometimes the same-old, same-old is—well, the same-old. It gets boring and nothing stirs up the adrenelin online as change, exasperating as it can be at times.

    So, good for you. I’ll be looking forward to it. And get ready for all those negative comments, too. Remember when the last major change occurred? By now, all of you should have tough skins, though. You made it thru one–what’s another?

  2. AAR Sandy says:

    Thanks, Tee. We are braced for the negative comments. All we can hope is that readers will give it a chance since the home page is dramatically different. But we’re here to please readers, after all, so if we hear the same comment or concern over and over, then we’ll certainly listen and take a look at refinements.

    Like you, I think change is a good thing. The way people use the Web has changed over the years, but much about AAR really hasn’t. I think it’s all going to be good.

  3. Tinabelle says:

    I’m excited to see the new look. Congratulations on what have been a monumental effort. I am an AAR addict and look forward to accessing all of the information here in a new way. Change is good.

    I agree with Tee that some people don’t handle change well and may be critical. There are always glitches with the major redesign and relaunch of a site so hopefully people will be patient as kinks get worked out. AAR has always been open to comments and quick to respond to problems so I am conficent things will go well.

  4. Magdalen says:

    Can’t wait to see what it looks like!

  5. Lada says:

    Yeay!! While I appreciate all LLB did to create the site, it’s been outdated for some time and I’ve been hoping AAR got a facelift. For those who don’t like change, I hope they do give it a chance. It really is long past time this happened and I can’t wait to have an AAR homepage that actually includes information and not just a giant masthead and tiny links to other pages.

    I’m sure it was a lot of work and look forward to visiting on Monday!!

  6. kris says:

    Can’t wait to see the new site. I don’t post much anymore but I still visit almost everyday and have always appreciated how much work you all do.

  7. Janet W says:

    It seems like the door to site owners, managers, bloggers, reviewers and writers, let alone authors, should be marked with huge red letters: Abandon Thin Skin All Ye Who Enter Here! Let’s hope that everyone extends to AAR the kind of courtesy they would wish for themselves … because as we all know, when it comes to the magic of web2.0, if something can go wrong (in the initial stages), it will go wrong.

    Looking forward to the changes — good luck!

  8. Karen says:

    Yep. It was tire to retire the hammock! Looking forward to seeing the new and improved look! I just want to mention I’ve left Special Settings as a separate “favorite” in my bookmarks. I never tried too hard but I could never seem to find it easily on your website. Maybe I’ll be able to with the update. That said, I really enjoy reading reviews, views, and news on AAR. Thanks for all the information over the years.

  9. Vi says:

    I am one of those people that bookmark the message boards and the reviews page. Thus, I am excited to see the front page will auto-refresh. An early thanks for the tremendous labor to make this site even more appealing to the readers!

  10. Judith says:

    Hi-
    Yea! Love AAR anyway I can get it. I love to hear about new innovative designs and cannot wait for Monday.
    CONGRATULATIONS before and after on the new site tour.

  11. Susan/DC says:

    I remember when you changed the structure of the message boards (posts used to look like a Windows tree directory with only titles showing) and you had lots of comments both pro and con. The controversy settled down after a while. The same will probably happen again, but now you’re old hands at dealing with it. I look forward to the 21st when AAR v3.0 is unveiled.

  12. xina says:

    Looking forward to the new look. How exciting! I’ll be waiting on pins and needles…. :)

  13. Kinnday says:

    I’m majorly happy to read this! I often have flutter thoughts that layout needs updating here. Can’t wait to see!

  14. Sandy AAR says:

    Karen: We’re leaving our navigation intact for the initial launch, but we are well aware that it needs pruning and clarifying. Rest assured, we are going to be getting to it shortly. It’s on our short list of things we need to do.

    And thanks to everyone for the comments. We are working things through on a test site, so, with any luck, will have all the bugs worked out before we go live on 6/21.

  15. Helen D says:

    I really like this old page but looking forward to the new updated site. Can’t wait!

  16. Kathleen says:

    I can only hope that the overabundance of pink/purple is reduced.